Posted by John Prendergast on Jun 29, 2022
E nga mana
E nga reo
E nga whanau o Eastern Hutt Rotary Club
Tena koto, tena koto, tena tato katoa
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and a very warm welcome to what is a very special night, as we come together to celebrate 60 years of the Eastern Hutt Rotary Club.  My name is John Prendergast, I am a recent refugee from Invercargill and it is my privilege to be your MC for tonight’s celebration. Like many of you, I am a Rotarian; and like the Eastern Hutt Rotary Club I too am 60 years old - so I feel part of a very good vintage!
Can I begin by acknowledging our guests and special guests: And this is where as an MC you can get yourself into a bit of trouble. We have a whole room full of important and special people here tonight, each and every one of you has played a role and made a contribution to Rotary and/or to this Club during the past 60 years – so singling any of you out for special mention does run the risk of offending the rest of you. But that’s a risk I’m going to take. Let me begin by acknowledging:
  • 2006/07 Rotary International President Bill Boyd, and Lorna. The President of Eastern Hutt Rotary Club during that 2006/07 year when you led the Rotary world was Don Battah, and Don is here tonight.  Being RI’s World President wasn’t Bill and Lorna’s greatest achievement though, tonight I’d like to welcome you both as very proud parents of incoming President Kathy Bryant.
  • Former Club member, and knight of the realm Sir John Clarke, and Lady Kathy
  • District Governor Mark Wheeler (RC of Wellington). And Mark is as close as it’s possible to get to being a Past District Governor, with his term as our Governor officially ending at midnight tomorrow;
  • A Past District Governor who’s much longer in the tooth, John Cole;
  • Assistant Governor Michelle Simpson, from the Hutt Valley Rotary Club, a club that your Eastern Hutt Club sponsored. So in a way you’re responsible for Michelle;
  • Current President Anne Abbott;
  • Past Presidents – this Club has been going for 60 years, and has had a lot of Presidents - I googled the collective noun for presidents, and there are actually a choice of two collective nouns - it’s either a succession of Presidents, or alternatively a failure of Presidents – I imagine most, if not all of your  Presidents have been successes;
I’m an accountant so I’ve worked out that during your 60 years you’ve had ………60 Presidents – 59 Past presidents, and current President Anne Abbott, who later this evening will hand over the chains of Presidential Office to Kathy Bryant, the 61st President of the Eastern Hutt Rotary Club. Of those 61 Pasts, Current and Incoming Presidents, 25 are either here in person or represented by family members here with us tonight. So welcome to all you Presidents past, present and future.
  • Welcome to Judith Morris, Immediate Past President of Inner Wheel
  • And welcome to our Special Ladies, and Friends of Rotary.
  • Now I don’t want to offend any Rotary notaries or luminaries, but perhaps the most special of the special guests here tonight as we celebrate 60 years of Eastern Hutt Rotary Club are those of you who are past or present members of this Club!
If I’ve missed anybody out in my welcome my sincere apologies, and please don’t be offended – I’ve either made a dreadful Rotary faux pas, in which case my Rotary career may end at this point; or perhaps you’re just not as important as you thought you were!
To commence tonight’s activities, we’re going to be entertained by Taita College’s Poly Group, One Heart, One Beat. One Heart One Beat consists of around 80 Taita College students, and tonight we have a subset of that group here to entertain us for the next 15 or 20 minutes. On your behalf can I please say:
Bula vanaka
Talofa lava
Malo lalay
and warm Pacific greetings, ladies and gentlemen please welcome One Heart One Beat!
We now have an award to present.
As I hope we all know, our charity as Rotarians is the Rotary Foundation – since its inception in 1917 the Rotary Foundation has raised and distributed close to $5 billion dollars US to do good in the world. And since its charter night in 1962 your Eastern Hutt Rotary Club has donated $151,770 US dollars to the Rotary Foundation. Which is a great contribution from the Club itself. But on top of that, various individual members have also made further contributions to the Rotary Foundation, totaling approximately $300,000 US – being contributions of a minimum of US$10,000 from individuals either as major donors, or as Bequest Society Members. One of those members who contributed in this way was the late Michael Jameson – Michael was a much-respected member of Eastern Hutt Rotary Club for 30 years, and his wife Jenny is here tonight – Jenny could I please ask you to come forward, and Past RI President Bill Boyd could you also come up and present Jenny with the Rotary Foundation Major Donor pin and crystal, in recognition of Michael’s generous gift to the Foundation.
Many thanks Jenny for the very generous gift to the Foundation and thank you Bill for making the presentation to recognise that generosity.  Click HERE to see the video of this presentation.
Tonight we are celebrating 60 years of the Eastern Hutt Rotary Club doing good in the world, and back at the Charter Meeting of the then Naenae Rotary Club in 1962 Charter Member, the Reverend Ray Sommerville said grace before the members enjoyed their first meal together. And so tonight we are going to repeat the same grace that would have been said in 1962, and it goes like this:
O God, and giver of all good
We thank thee for our daily food
May Rotary friends and Rotary ways
Help us to serve thee all our days